Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Favorite Fifteen

I can't believe it is the last day of the year.  2015 really flew by.  I thought it might be fun to share my
fifteen of my favorite projects from the year today.  I've shared some of these here before and some blog posts never got written.  (I am definitely working on that for next year.)

As I was pulling these, I noticed that many of these projects were done for online challenges.  So I want to say that I am grateful for all those sites (in no particular order) that provide inspiration - Paper Issues, Studio Calico, Citrus Twist Kits, Stuck?! Sketches, My Scraps and More, and My Creative Sketches.  There are probably a zillion other ones but these are the sites I visited regularly this year when I needed a jumpstart.

For purposes of organization, I split my top fifteen into categories that made sense to me.  I spent some time this year experimenting with grid designs and really loved some of those projects.

But my go to technique is playing with layers.

And I am really proud of the way I experimented with color more often this year.

And I love the oversized alphas that seemed to be a new trend this year.

And some baby steps into mixed media (which scares me).   I tried a few times and really liked some of the end results

I fell a little bit in love with transparencies and vellum this year too.

Ok - I ended up with 16.  And truthfully, if I started over the list might be 16 completely different projects.  This was a good year from a crafty perspective.  I made lots of stuff, played with lots of favorites and tried some new things.  And I still love the time in my scrapbook room and use it to help maintain balance in my life.

So I am excited to see what 2016 brings.  I hope to scrap more, share more and grow more.  I hope you had a good year too.  Have a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas - Last Year

Is anyone really caught up and scrapping current photos because the old ones are all in albums?  I can't imagine - so when I had the urge to pull together a Christmas layout, I dug out a favorite photo from last year.

My husband has read The Night Before Christmas right before bed on Christmas Eve since our oldest son was 6 weeks old.  He uses the edition I had when I was growing up with Grandma Moses illustrations - this is one of my favorite holiday moments each year (and the reason this photo will show up in my December Daily, my family album and my daughter's album).  Last year only my daughter showed up to hear the story.

I didn't have much time, so I knew I wanted to use a sketch as my starting point - it makes everything faster.  I started with the current sketch at My Creative Sketches.

It had lots of layers so I knew it worked well with my style.  And I really liked the banner detail.  I used papers from a basket of small scraps on my desk - I'm not sure why but more and more I prefer using papers without a holiday theme on my layouts.

 I finished my layout off by layering some vellum banners from an older Pink Paislee collection.

The last detail was the title.  One of the Christmas caroling challenges at My Scraps and More asked that you use words from the Night Before Christmas poem as your title.  This was the perfect inspiration here and I chose "The Night Before." 

 Hope you had a great holiday.  I really enjoyed all of our celebrations, but have to admit that I am looking forward to the new year and having more time to scrap.  Thanks for stopping by - I will have more to share soon.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Squeezing in Some Scrap Time

I love the holidays but there never seems to be enough time.  Still, I managed to make a few layouts this month and am hoping to share a few this week.  Since I only had a bit of time, I used a sketch to get me started.  This one from Stuck?! is awesome.

I turned the sketch on its side and put together a quick layout for a Christmas Caroling challenge at My Scraps and More.

The challenge was to use a large number on your page and the "2" from Pebbles was perfect for this title.  I had fun with my journaling too - I used my new typewriter (yay!) to create a conversation I thought my daughter and her dog might be having - way out of the box for me but lots of fun. 

Hope you squeezed in some crafty time during the holidays.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Title Page

I like to start each of my kid's albums with a year that ties it to a year in school.  But I dread these pages - for whatever reason, they are almost always a struggle.  And my daughter's sophomore album is no exception.  I've been adding layouts but the first page is blank.

When I saw this month's sketch at My Creative Sketches, I decided to use it as inspiration for the layout I kept putting off - and I still put it off til the sketch link-up is almost closed. 

But I took the time for one tradtional layout last week and this was it.  I took lots of inspiration from the sketch and the opportunity to play along with one of the Christmas Carol challenges at My Scraps and More.  (These challenges are fun because they are inspired by Christmas carols but don't require holiday layouts.)  The O Christmas Tree Challenge was to use a tree, branch or leaves on your layout.

 I used bits from my Canyonlands kit from Studio Calico, my November kits from Citrus Twist kits, and other bits from my stash.  The end result was a fun page using one of her school photos. 

I think it is going to work perfectly as a title page.  And the sketch gave me a chance to use lots of bits from my stash - both old and new.

I am going to try to sneak in some more scrap time this week.  Hopefully I will have some layouts to share and some pages from my December Daily finished.  Hope you are having a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

So This Is Christmas

The holidays started in earnest with Thanksgiving at our house so I haven't had much time to scrap.  But the decorations are up, the shopping is well underway and some gifts are even wrapped.  So last night I took a little bit of time to scrap.  And -- of course -- just to maintain that Christmas spirit -- I chose a photo of our tree last year. 

But I hit a little bump in the road - when I scrap everyday, layouts generally come pretty easily.  But when it's been a few days, I often have a hard time getting started.  So I started looking for a sketch and found this one at Stuck?!

I really liked all the horizontal layers, but I was using one vertical photo.  So I had some work to do.  I cut a number of pieces of patterned paper for layers and just played with them til I came up with my design.

supplies are from November Citrus Twist kits and my stash
I used some tags from the Fancy Pants Christmas collection to add additional layers.  I especially loved the striped one and the way it tied my other papers together.  So I cut the bottom off the tag so I could repeat the pattern on the other side of my layout.  And those red letters from SevenPaper might be one of my favorite alphas ever - but you only get one of each letter which just isn't very practical.  Luckily I had stocked up since it took two packages to spell Christmas. 

I hope your holidays are going well.  Thanks for taking a minute to stop by.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Daily 2015

This is the third year that I am trying to put together a December Daily album.  The 2014 album is in the basement - all the pages are done and it just needs photos (maybe a project for 2016).  The 2015 album is on my desk and just needs to have a few pages done (definitely a project for 2016).  But I think this is the year I will finish an album during (or close to) the holiday season.

I think one reason I struggle with the project is because I don't really do much pocket scrapbooking.  I have a hard time acheiving balanced pages.  So this year I decided to do a two page spread for each day - a 6x8 layout and one pocket page.  I am hoping this layout will make the process more comfortable for me. 

I also took the time to make foundation pages ahead of time (starting with Thanksgiving and ending on January 1).  The idea never made sense to me since I didn't know what we would be doing each day.  But I thought I would take a lesson from the experts and give it a try this year.  Maybe that is the secret to finishing the project.

So that just left choosing an album.  I originally wanted to use the pink and gold album from the SevenPaper Clara collection - but I couldn't find page protectors.  So I bought the Studio Calico South of Market handbook from a few years ago - I thought the grey herringbone design would provide a great canvas for a fun cover.   In the end I had both albums and couldn't choose.  My family was split. 

I finally went with the pink album because I thought it would be harder to use on another project.  The gold deer is from Heidi Swapp and the acrylic title and stars are from Colorcast Designs .  (You have to check out their website - seriously drool-worthy). 

So now I just have to make an effort to take and print photos regularly - if I do that, this album should finish itself, right?

If you have any tricks for finishing a December Daily album, I'd love to hear them.  I'll be keeping you posted on my progress this month.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Big Yes

One of the November kits I received from Studio Calico was the kit curated to go along with the Marcy Penner mini book class.  I have the class waiting for me, but decided that I was going to use this kit for traditional layouts - mostly because I couldn't wait to use that giant acrylic "YES" on a project.

And when I saw last week's scrapbook sketch at Studio Calico, I thought it was the perfect layout design.

Here is the layout I put together using the sketch and the "yes" as inspiration.

The papers and embellishments (except that light blue alpha) are all from the November Studio Calico kits.  The papers and colors were perfect for this picture of fish my daughter took on a trip to the conservatory.  She has really started to experiment with photography and my husband's "big camera" over the past year.  And I am having lots of fun documenting her journey experimenting with photography in her albums.  If she sticks with photography as a hobby, I think she will like the opportunity to look back at some of her early photos in later years.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Baby Collection For My Teenager

My baby is going to be 16 this month.  So when the Citrus Kit add-on featured the newest baby collection from SevenPaper (Clara) I thought it was something that I could pass on. 

But it turns out - I couldn't really resist the kit.  Included some products from other lines that weren't so themed, the b sides of the papers were generally very versatile, I loved the phrase stickers and who could pass up those amazing vellum star die cuts.  And it turns out that some of the first products I used from my Citrus Twist November kits were from that add-on.

I started with the November 15th sketch at Stuck?! Sketches.

As usual, my layout seemed to take on a life of its own.  I started with an idea that was pretty close to the sketch, but the elements that stood out to me were the horizontal layers under the phtoo and the embellishment clusters.  And I ended up here.

 But I think that is why I love sketches so much - they provide a ton of inspiration and give you lots of room for creativity.

The stars, the text paper, and both the pink and white phrase stickers all came from that baby themed kit.  And they were perfect for this homecoming dance photo of my daughter and her friends.  (I love that she is willing to share photos she and her friends take so that I can include them in her albums.) 

So don't forget to check out those baby products - you might be missing out on something that is perfect for your next project.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Repeating Shapes

Paper Issues sponsored an online crop over the weekend that was filled with great challenges.  (If you want to play along, the challenges aren't due til midnight Saturday, so there is plenty of time.)  One of those challenges was to use at least 10 circle, triangle or square shapes on your layout.  Now this sounds pretty easy, but I was stumped.  (And yes, I know I do a lot of grid design, but nothing was working.)

I decided to use squares and knew I wanted to vary the size of the squares on my layout.  And I picked a picture.  But I spent more time than I want to admit staring at the piece of paper I thought I wanted to use as my base.  Finally I pulled out some scraps of white cardstock and cut them into 3, 2 and 1 inch squares.  Then I moved them around on the base paper until I was happy with the design.

Next I replaced one of the 3 inch squares with my photo.  Then I started digging through my basket of small scraps for papers that coordinated with my photo.  (The photo was of beach glass, so I was looking for a "beach-y" mix of colors.)  Each time a scrap caught my eye, I pulled it out and cut it into a square.  Then I would replace one of the white cardstock squares I had used to develop my layout.  I repeated this process til all the cardstock squares had been replaced with patterned paper.

I used some Evalicious puffy alphas - these are white with gold polka dots - to fit my title into the grid.  Next I added a few trips of washi tape and a puffy rectangle sticker to break up the squares just a bit and link to the rectangular title.  I added just a few embellishments to finish off the project, trying to coordinate with the colors in the patterned paper.  Some gold splats and I was done.

How do you use your scraps?  Link me up to your projects - I can always use some new ideas.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

When A Circle Becomes A Square

The sketch this month at My Creative Sketches is great.  The design has lots of layers and is really versatile. 

But that big circle behind the photo block really challenged me.  I have lots of tools to make cutting the circle easy, but I was feeling super lazy.  So I made it a big vellum square - this anchored the layout without adding a lot of weight.  I layered frames, labels and tags under the squares to add some of the visual interest the circle added to the original design.

The papers are mostly pink paislee - a mix from the Cedar Lane and Memorandum collections.  They are two of my favorite collections ever!  The colors and patterns are really versatile.  And that paper that is all the patterned stripes adds tons of dimension and interest.

If you use the sketch, link me up - I'd love to see.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Using Old Rub Ons

Rub-ons are one of my favorite embellishments.  But sometimes I keep them too long.  (You know - saving them for the perfect project).  And then they crack or some of the images stick to the paper backing that is supposed to protect them.  I hadn't had this package of Amy Tangerine rub-ons that long - but when  opened them they looked like a supply I had hoarded too long.

 But these were really pretty and I am a frugal scrapbooker - I hate throwing away any supplies.  So I used them to make a fun background for this layout.

 First I created the two photo blocks and attached them to the base paper.  Then I added gold and teal ink splatters - cause I can't make a layout with splatters.  I used a couple of rub-ons for another package that were still in good shape to start to build the backgournd.  Other embellishments went next.  Then I randomly place the sheet of damaged rubons on the layout (trying to create a connection between the two photo blocks) and added bits of color and pattern.  I didn't worry about overlapping the rub-ons with themselves or with ink splatters.  The title went next.

And there you have it - a beautiful mixed media background using supplies that were headed for the trash.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sharing Handmade Kindness

I came across a challenge on Jennifer McGuire's blog that I have to share.  Its the Share Handmade Kindness challenge.    She is posting challenges to help inspire us all to share things we make this month. 

I love this idea - after all I have a basket full of handmade cards that I never send or give to anyone.  And I love to bake but everyone at my house is trying not to eat a lot of sweets.  So I decided to play along.

The challenge this week is to share handmade kindness with friends and family.  So last night I whipped up a batch of my "famous" championship chocolate chip cookies.  I put them in little cellophane bags to share with friends at work - because homemade cookies make everything better.....

My original plan was to make cute little tags to attach to each bag.  But honestly, by the time I worked all day, walked the dog for an hour and made the cookies I was tired.  So first I thought that I would set the cookies aside and make the tags tonight.  Then I thought that I would just put the cookies in the cookie jar.  After all - no one knew I was making them so no one would be disappointed.

And then I watched Jennifer's video about the challenge again.  The purpose of the Jennifer's challenge to share things we make is not to impress people with how pretty the gift is.  And it's not to give the prettiest thing ever.  The purpose of the challenge is to do something kind.  And a little bag of homemade cookies on your desk would make you smile - you would know that someone cared about you. 

So the handmade tags with pretty ribbon didn't go on the bags.  The silver twist-ties that came with the bags worked perfectly.  Handmade kindness doesn't have to mean fancy - it just means thoughtful. 

So I am excited to see what the next challenge is.  And I am challenging myself to focus on the act of giving and not the act of making the prettiest card or the most elaborate gift.  Instead this is a great opportunity to remember the joy that comes with giving.

If you are playing along, I'd love to see what you made. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Two Colors

Mixing patterned papers might be one of my favorite things in the whole world.  But, for me, that usually means 4-5 colors on a layout.  So when I saw a challenge that said "use one color and an accent color" I wondered if I could do it.

I am down to the scraps from my October Citrus Twist kits.  But I had several black and white papers left - and a great teal stripe that I loved and somehow hadn't used.  So game on.......

design inspired by sketch at Stuck?! and 3 to inspire prompts at Citrus Twist Kits

The current sketch at Stuck!? provided a starting point.  They are partnering with Scrap It With A Song - this is a new challenge blog to me.  Scrap It With A Song offers songs as an inspiration point.  This month one of the songs was the Beatles' Octopus Road.  I took inspiration from the context of doing things together and used a picture of my son with his cousin. 

I  ended up really loving the final result (I treated gold as a neutral which might have been cheating....)I think what really made this work was the embellishment clusters which allowed me to add bits of teal to tie in with that striped paper.

This is the first time I played with thread this way and the gold really popped against the other colors.  And mixing the teal and gold splatters (no layout is done without splatters) tied it together.

So do you mix lots of colors or keep it simple on your projects.  I'd love to see .........

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Big and Subtle

Big titles seem to be on trend right now.  And they can be fun.  But I have to admit to struggling with them sometimes.  I love playing with patterned paper and little embellishments and sometimes a big title just seems like "too much."  But these white Amy Tangerine thickers came with a recent kit
At first I wasn't sure what to do with them since I tend to use light backgrounds for my projects.  But it turns out that they are the perfect way to add a big title without overwhelming a layout.

This layout was inspired by the 4 part scraptober fest challenge - a sketch, a color challenge, a stash callenge (2 kinds of washi) and a photo of yourself
I used a piece of subtle grid paper for my layout base and the big white words pop of the page without overwhelming my picture - or the simple layout design.  And I love that phrase -  "to be continued" - for a layout about me and who I am today.  Because - even at 53 - I think I am most definitely a work in progress.

I'd love any ideas you have for the white thicker words .......I have the rest of the package to use up.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Photo On Vellum

I almost always order my prints - for the past 18 months or so it's been from Persnickety Prints.  But I've been wanting to experiment with printing photos on vellum (I think it might be a great technique to incorporate into a December Daily.)  So when we went apple picking, I decided to give it a try.  (I have a fairly basic inkjet printer.) 

I picked a photo of two apples and gave it a go.  The ink was visibly wet when it came out of the printer so I set it aside to dry for about an hour.  The end result was definitely worth waiting for - it have a beautiful soft feel that I wouldn't have achieved on cardstock.

products from October Citrus Twist kits.

I did run into a problem when I started to build my layout.  If you visit very often, you know that I like to layer lots of patterned papers.  And I found the patterns showing through my photo and changing the look of the image.  (In some instances I think this would be a great effect, but not what I was going for here.)

 I tried placing it on white card stock, but I lost a lot of the translucent feel the vellum brought to the table.  So I ended up layering a second piece of plain vellum under the photo and that worked perfectly.  And you can see where I used my tiny attacher to add the photo to my layout.  (I didn't want the adhesive to mar the image.)

I definitely will play with this technique again - it is so much fun and creates a unique look for the photo.  If you have any tricks you use to print photos on vellum, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Blurry Photo

Sometimes (a lot of the time) it seems like the photo that captures my imagination is blurry or otherwise poor quality.  I used to discard those pictures, but I've come to realize that those photos might best tell the story in my heart.  So I've given myself permission to use them.

This photo of my 15 year old daughter swinging is a great example.  I love that she still appreciates the joy and freedom that can be found when you "swing high" and I felt like the blurry feel gave a sense of motion that helped tell the story.

I printed it as a 4x4 with a white border in black and white for my layout.  Printing in black and white is one of my best tricks with blurry photos - somehow it makes the blurry feel seem intentional.  And the white border helps the picture pop and adds a bit of a vintage feel.

design inspired by sketch from Citrus Twist kits

This layout is also put together using the October Citrus Twist kits (I added the sequins and vellum from my stash).  I was so excited to get those Dear Lizzy rub-ons .  I used them in two ways on this layout - first too help add depth to  and to stretch an embellishment cluster.  And the second is a recent favorite - I love layering a large rub on over patterned paper.  The word "love" is so soft and pretty and seems to belong on that pretty floral print.

So how do you feel about photos that aren't great quality - do your trash them or treasure them?

Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A New Kit from Citrus Twist

I started playing with the October kits from Citrus Twist Kits this week.  And I have to say that they are probably my favorite ever from any kit club - seriously gorgeous and super versatile.  I have knocked 5 layouts out so far and still am inspired by the products I have left.

This is one of the first layouts I did.  It was for a scraplift challenge at Paper Issues.  The inspiration layout (below) was by Jen Boumis.

I was really taken by the vertical block in the center with two photos layered horizontally over it.  But I only had one photo, so I substituted lots of layers for the second picture.  I used a transparency for the vertical block to keep the layout from feeling heavy.

When I was done playing with layers I realized I couldn't find a good place to add journaling.  I used a label sticker at the bottom of the vertical block.  It served two functions - both a place for journaling and it helped to adhere the transparency.

I am off to play some more - I hope you find some time to scrap this weekend.  Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Oh No - I Don't Have A Kit to Play With.......

For years, my favorite part of scrapbooking was building a diverse stash and mixing and matching products for each layout.  Then I became a kit subscriber.  I was still mixing and matching, but from the kit (already curated by someone very talented).  And, for the most part, my stash just sat.

Currently I sub to 2 kits - Studio Calico and Citrus Twist Kits.  I feel like I am in a period of transition - the Studio Calico kits have not been clicking with my style lately and I have been experimenting with the Citrus Twist kits (for quite a while now).  For whatever reason,  I am having a hard time canceling my SC subscription. 

So last week I received my SC kit - and I mostly hated it.  I made one layout and then incorporated it into my stash.  (Maybe I will finally cancel?)  But my Citrus Twist kit is still on the way.  And on Thursday, I was home with time to play -

So I had to go to my stash and mix product from scratch.  I ended up pulling a piece from Dear Lizzy Documentary for my base.  Then I added bits from studio calico kits, seven paper, pinkfresh studios, pink paislee and crate paper.   And I made this......
design inspired by sketch at Citrus Twist kits

I had a great time picking papers and embellishments to use.  And I love the final project.  It has exactly the bright, fun, pretty feel I was going for.  And I used lots of bits from my stash. 

So Thursday I remembered how much fun it is to mix products all by myself.  Maybe I need to scrap this way more and rely on kits less?

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Those Thickers

One of my favorite things in the Crate Paper Wonder line was those oversized thickers. 

I love the mix of colors and patterns, and the font is just fun!  But boy have I had a hard time using them.  So when I came across a challenge to use a big title, I was determined....  and here is what I came up with.

Most of the products came from my September Citrus Twist kits.  It's lots of  products from Wonder but there is some Pink Paislee mixed in - and that great yellow paper is from Basic Grey.  And of course, I can't finish a project without ink splatters.  I started with gold, but when they didn't really pop, I added some black too. 

Thanks for stopping by.